As a kid, I was very fortunate in that we lived in a big house, had nice cars, went on amazing holidays and wanted for nothing. Money doesn’t buy happiness but it helps. I’m not going to lie, I LOVE money and it is important to have. That doesn’t make me a bad person. Whilst I love money, I’m not overly materialistic. Enjoying experiences over things and being comfortable makes me happy. Not stressing about money makes me happier. Being able to help others makes me happy.
But as a parent to my beautiful little twins – my first and only children, I do spoil them at times. We are all guilty of it I am sure. Rewarding good behaviour with trips and presents. Shopping trips almost end up with them going on about 5 ride-on’s, hot chocolate and buying toys.
My job as a blogger also means we get some pretty amazing products and experiences sent our way and I am mindful of how they will adapt to this kind of treatment as such.
Every Friday, I would have little surprises at home in little bags ready to hand to them after being really good at nursery and home all week. Every other Sunday they came home from being at their dad’s, I would have a goody bag at the ready of craft things and other treats.
Over the past couple of months I have stopped this, but I still just buy them toys when I think they will like it. It’s got out of hand. Spending for the sake of it. They have plenty of toys and plenty of things to do. There is never a shortage of activities to be had in our house.
We went on a mini shopping trip a couple of weeks back and found these cute fairy house money boxes. They were only a fiver each and I said to the girls that each week, instead of me buying toys, they will get some pocket money and that pocket money must go in their money box.
Weighing up the cost of what I was spending and how much they should be getting at this kind of age, I have decided on a weekly figure that they will both get which will be reviewed next year after they turn 5. Each week, they will receive their pocket money on a Friday in the form of cash and they will store it in their money box.
So far, they seem to understand the concept. I explained that once the money box was full, it meant we could go and buy something of their choice as long as they had enough money. Four may seem a little young to some people, but it was getting to the point that I wanted them to start understanding the value of money. This also works for food that we buy and food waste – a huge pet hate of mine.
I want my children to grow up being grateful and understanding. I want them to know that the toys they buy aren’t there to be simply thrown away once they are done. Thankfully, they are really good at donating old toys to the hospice and school and everything else they do value. They enjoy giving their toys and clothes to other children. Now, they even suggest it when they know they have grown out of things.
But that needs to continue with everything they have in their life. I think teaching children to be grateful as young as possible lays the right foundations to raise humble, helpful, caring and loving humans.
I know I will find it hard not to bail them out of tricky financial situations in the future, but I am hoping that with enough guidance and advice now; they will avoid getting into debt, be good savers and have a good head for business.
Heres hoping right? Parenthood isn’t for the faint-hearted.